On February 8, 2021, The CW premiered for the fourth and final season of the American television series Black Lightning, which is based on the DC Comics character Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning. The CW’s superhero shows have all gone on to be big hits, and they’re all pretty decent, but they’re not exactly prestige dramas.
But what if Greg Berlanti and his team came up with one that was deadly serious? This is what we see in Black Lightning, which is based on a 1970s DC character.
Despite the fact that Black Lightning was created by Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim and airs on The CW, co-creator Salim Akil recently told TV critics that the show is not part of the network’s ‘Arrowverse’, which includes Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow. It is easy to see why after seeing the pilot.
This is a unique presentation compared to the others. For starters, it’s deadly serious in tone, without chitchat, comical asides, or don’t-they-won’t-they storylines like the other series. Second, Black Lightning is the CW’s first middle-aged superhero, at least a decade older than any other hero in the Arrowverse, with a dispute over his identity that even Stephen Amell can’t match.
Aside from the powers of Jefferson Pierce, the show and the City of Freeland are based much more on the realism of 2018 than any other superhero series from the CW, which is why Black Lightning is not and cannot be part of the Arrowverse. .
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While it may not be as realistic as say The Chi, the show is serious about how racism, violence and corruption can get out of hand in a big city, even in 2018. The show makes no attempt to stop police brutality against black people or to as yet another villain to be overcome.
What’s more intriguing is that he brings back Black Lightning when the widespread violence gets personal. He has a deal with local kingpin Lala (William Catlett), a former classmate, to keep the peace with The One Hundred, but he is weak at best.
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And, as he will soon discover, Tobias Whale is still in control. In the coming weeks it will be interesting to see how all these points of view are discussed. We’re not getting ‘monster / alien / villain of the week’ in this episode, which means we get a deep dive into the characters’ backstories, which is a welcome idea considering how well the characters are drawn on the pilot.
Black Lightning is both a prestige drama and superhero movie, with lots of high-octane action.